Saturday, December 3, 2016

What Being a Staff Writer has Taught Me

Years ago I never thought I'd find myself writing articles. I was extremely intimidated at the idea. Now I write almost an article a week. In the beginning of this summer, I was looking for a way to make some extra money and one of my colleagues referred me to Geekdom House. I decided to apply and the editor-in-chief let me guest post for the website. After I guest posted in May, she invited to post again then after that she asked if I wanted to be a staff writer. I answered with a resounding yes! 

I've loved working for Geekdom House. I get to write about geeky topics I love, analyzing them for lessons we can glean. I do this on my own in my mind and now I get paid for it! It's a dream.

After six months working as a staff writer I've learned a lot of things, but here are the top five:

1.) Always Stay on the Lookout for New Ideas - When writing articles is your job, you literally can't afford to wait for the muse. If you don't come up with ideas you don't get paid. I'm always running over ideas in my mind for new articles, especially when I watch new films or TV shows or play new video games. I'm looking for the themes and how they relate to me personally and how to compose an article with them.

2.) Pitching on a Pinch - After I come up with the idea, I pitch it to my editor.  Sometimes I have to do this quite quickly to make sure another writer doesn't take the topic before me. I usually keep this to one sentence. One of my pitches was: I want to write an article about Stranger Things and how fear can affect friendships, especially concerning the boys and Eleven. My editor will tell me yay or nay depending on my idea. 

3.) Working with an Editor on a Consistent Basis - I work with my awesome editor Allison on a regular basis. After I submit an article she combs through it and edits sentences and also points out areas I need to go back and improve. All of her advice has really helped me streamline my articles and make them more effective. I feel like with each article I improve a little more and that in turn also has affected my blogging here. I love working with her. She has the perfect balance of critique and praise. 

4.) Working on a Deadline on a Consistent Basis - I have to keep to a deadline every month. Articles are due by a certain date and sometimes my editor will ask for the articles to be done sooner for anything certain reason. Therefore I have to write quickly and be on time. On an article that flows well I can get it done in about three days. On a tougher one sometimes longer, which I'm working on. It's all a learning experience. 

5.) Being Paid for Your Work Increases Your Confidence in Writing - I've never been paid consistently for writing, but it's a super good feeling. I feel like I'm being rewarded for my work. Not that I don't mind doing volunteer work, but a monetary reward has made me feel like my writing has value, like my work has value. So I've felt more confident that yes, my work is good enough for someone to pay for.

Conclusion - This has been a massively growing experience and I believe it's changed much about how I conduct myself as a writer. If you'd like to check out any of my articles you can here. I've written articles about Star Trek, Ultron, the Jungle Book, and more. Our site also has a donation page. Our mission is to bridge the gap between geeks and Christians and any little bit helps. Lastly, we also have a print magazine called Area of Effect. My Ori and the Blind Forest article made it into this issue! Thank you for your support. I can keep getting paid because of people who support creatives. 

Have you ever been a staff writer? What are some of your experiences and what have you learned? Do you aspire to be a staff writer? Any further questions?

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